Student plogger aims to clean 30 cities in 30 days

time:2023-06-02 17:42:48source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center2

A student who set up a litter-picking community is planning to tour 30 cities in 30 days across the UK in a fight against climate change.

Vivek Gurav has been collecting rubbish and has picked up 5,000kg of waste while out running in Bristol, an activity known as 'plogging'.

Mr Gurav, 26, said: "I want to set-up a UK-wide plogging community like I did back in India."

He added he wanted to inspire people so they could "start their own groups".

Mr Gurav, who came to Bristol last year to study for a masters degree in environmental policy and management, first started a community plogging campaign in his home city of Pune, in India.

Over the past four years, he has covered 420 miles (675km) litter picking on 120 "plogging missions".

Mr Gurav's plogging efforts saw him feature on the BBC's The One Show to pick up a special award from former prime minister, Boris Johnson.

In October, he was invited to 10 Downing Street by the new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and in November he spoke at COY17 - the youth version of the COP27 climate summit.

Mr Gurav, who studies at the University of Bristol, said: "The climate conference was amazing and a real opportunity. The award from the prime minister really motivated me to do more, and going to 10 Downing Street, that was the best thing that has happened to me."

The 26-year-old hopes to be joined by fellow ploggers, environmentalists and keen runners as he visits each city via public transport to litter pick across the country.

During December, Mr Gurav will be plogging in Derby, Nottingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester, Birmingham and Worcester.

He also hopes the community project will have a "positive effect" on mental health, as that was a "key aspect" of the plogging community he had developed in India.

Over the past four years, his volunteers there have collected more than one million kilograms of litter.

He said: "Now I get asked all the time by Indian people how they can come and study in the UK. They want to follow my path. It feels good to be able to help."

He says he plans to use the skills he has learned in the UK to help make India and the rest of the world more sustainable.

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